Think of Brandon Stanton’s famed project, Humans of New York. Now think of what it would be if he were photographing one-slice pizza joints instead of said humans. This is The New York Pizza Project. Nourishing the city with pride, floured hands are tossing dough and slinging slices in timeless parlors that signify far more than a quick dinner. Ian Manheimer, one of the five masterminds behind the project (and the upcoming book), briefs us.—CECILIA BUSICK
THIS STARTED OUT AS A WEBSITE, AND EVOLVED INTO A BOOK. WHY THE QUOTE, “A BOOK ABOUT PIZZA, NOT ABOUT FOOD”? We’re not critics. By interacting with the folks who work and frequent places we grew up loving, you capture a little slice of true New York culture—a fabric that evokes a mix of nostalgia, warmth, and comfort.
WHY ONLY SLICE JOINTS? Slices are an old art form, a challenge that fits the fast pace of life here.
WHAT DRIVES THE AESTHETIC? That feeling of walking into a pizza shop.
ANY MEDIOCRE PIZZA? A proprietor once said, “New York pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.”
EXPLAIN THE PROJECT IN A NUTSHELL. Asking New Yorkers: “What is the city you want to see?” Then highlighting the risks of losing that vision for the sake of a Disneyfied version.
Photos courtesy of Nick Johnson and Gabe Zimmer.